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Don't buy these cheap, defective USB-C cables

Don't buy these cheap, defective USB-C cables
PHOTO COURTESY OF SHUTTERSTOCK

You have computers, tablets and smartphones, so you know what USB cables are. They're the cables with a flat rectangular connector on one end and typically a smaller connector on the end. You might use one to connect your printer to your laptop, or to charge up your smartphone.

There's a new generation of USB cables called USB Type-C, or just USB-C. It looks the same on both ends and, in fact, you can plug either end into your devices. So, it will make it simpler to connect your devices.

Plus, it's powerful. For instance, you can use Type C to charge 15-inch laptops, which use about 60W of power. The USB-C has a top speed of 10GB/second and output power of 20V(100W).

That's all good. But, as it turns out, not all USB-C cables are the same, according to Google engineers, who are reviewing third-party USB-C cables that Amazon is selling. They say some third-party USB-C cables "flaunt the specification."

These Google engineers have come up with a way for owners of its Pixel laptops to check if USB-A to USB-C adapters, or USB-B to USB-C adapters are "spec compliant." First, put the computer in Dev Mode.

Put one end of the cable into the machine and the other into a charger. If it's a bad cable, you'll see a message that the cable is Type-C with a 3000mA max. That setting isn't correct.

Do you want an easier way to check? They say brands like Belkin, FRiEQ, and iOrange work well. Avoid others, like Monba, Kupx, CableCreation, Juiced, TechMatte and Orzly.

Note: If you're looking for USB car chargers, or many other tech gifts this holiday season, visit the Komando Shop.

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Source: PC Magazine
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